Among the crop of Denver Broncos at this weekend’s rookie minicamp at UCHealth Training Center were multiple wide receivers, tight ends, running backs, defensive backs, and linebackers.
But, there was just one quarterback.
With Paxton Lynch ineligible to participate in the workouts due to service accrued, and the Broncos having not drafted or signed a quarterback in April’s NFL Draft, first-year gunslinger Chad Kelly was the only of his position on the field Friday and Saturday.
Even Kelly acknowledged he was the only Denver quarterback at rookie minicamp when he spoke to the media on Saturday.
“To come out here for rookie camp and being the only quarterback out here, to get all of these reps, whether it is throwing routes, running team period or working with coaches in individual, that is how you get better,” Kelly said.
But, will the extra solo work give Kelly, who general manager John Elway said will compete for the backup role to starter Case Keenum, a leg up on 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch?
“Paxton will be a step behind when it comes to being on the same page with these guys. That’s what this work is going to do for Chad Kelly,” Brandon Stokley, co-host of “Stokley and Zach,” said on Friday.
“It’s going to start him a little bit ahead of Paxton Lynch when it comes to knowing these guys and being on the same page with these guys.”
Stokley said that Kelly will have the opportunity to show the Broncos coaching staff and front office that he’s “capable of being the man” in putting in extra work with “these young guys who are going to be, hopefully, future stars of the Broncos.”
“They want to see a quarterback who is going to work and is going to grind, a quarterback that gets it. And I think Paxton Lynch is showing them the opposite,” Stokley said. “So, if Chad Kelly shows them that side of him, he’s got a leg up already.”
But don’t crown Kelly the back-up quite yet, said “Pritchard and Cecil” co-host Mike Pritchard on Friday.
“Of course,” Pritchard said, Kelly could “stomp out” Paxton Lynch’s shot at being Denver’s second stringer, but he doesn’t think the competition is “over before it gets started.”
“I have to believe that Paxton Lynch is going to give his all. He’s going to give everything he has to try to secure his backup role now because that’s all he has left,” Pritchard said. “The next step for Paxton Lynch is out the door.”
But, if Lynch cannot locate the competitor within himself, the same that got him into the NFL in the first place, then it’s a “damn shame,” Pritchard said.
“In order to even get this far as a competitor, he has to have something in him. And, for whatever reason, it has not emerged,” Pritchard said. “But, I have to believe that this competition, Paxton Lynch is going to make it tighter than what people believe.”
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @johnnyhart7.
- Paxton Lynch demoted, Chad Kelly promoted in Denver
- LISTEN – Clayton: Pat Bowlen 'deserves' enshrinement in Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Ex-Tennessee star gets NFL chance after rape acquittal
- Schefter: Trade value for low Broncos QB Paxton Lynch
- Hall of Fame voter Mike Sando ‘optimistic’ this is the year for Pat Bowlen